Why Tottenham are signing Paulinho

Corinthians star is an authentic box-to-box specialist, with an imposing physical approach and crucial knack of knowing when to break into the box

The definitive moment in Tottenham Hotspur’s last season, in retrospect, might have been at Loftus Road in January, when Sandro injured his knee and missed the rest of the race for fourth place.

Spurs missed their Brazilian lynchpin just enough that results dropped and they slipped one costly point behind Arsenal.

How, then, to prevent a repeat? They could buy another Brazil midfielder.  Spurs were close to making their first purchase of the summer, with Paulinho seemingly on the brink of a £17million move from Corinthians but it know seems Real Madrid will also make an offer. The 24-year-old is currently playing in the Confederations Cup but after that is set to move to Europe, and has said that he “could not turn down” an offer from Spurs.

Paulinho is not a simple alternative to Sandro, but would certainly help to shoulder the workload in Spurs’ put-upon midfield. He is an authentic box-to-box specialist, with an imposing physical approach and that crucial knack of knowing when to break into the box. Often compared with Frank Lampard, it is his reliability and his goal return that has set him apart for Corinthians and for Brazil.

The heartbeat of the Corinthians team who won the 2011 Brazilian title and then the 2012 Copa Libertadores before beating Chelsea to the Club World Cup, Paulinho certainly comes with a high reputation. Beyond the unique Neymar, Paulinho is widely thought to have been the most consistent player in Brazil over the last year or so.

Of course, not every talented Brazilian player who has come to England has succeeded but there is a robustness about Paulinho which suggests he would settle well. He would certainly combine well with Sandro in a midfield pair. He is more similar in style to Mousa Dembele – although the Belgian seemed to play too many games last year – but a three-man combination of Sandro, Dembele and Paulinho would overload most opponents on both strength and skill. Andre Villas-Boas moved to a 4-3-3 towards the end of last season and that combination would most probably be better than any involving Scott Parker or Tom Huddlestone.

As players always tell us, anything can happen in football, and the deal remains to be finalised, but for a club prone to waiting too long in the transfer market, a swift resolution would be an important and useful start.

Sport
sportGareth Bale, Carl Froch and Kelly Gallagher also in the mix for award
News
Japan's Suntory Beverage & Food has bought GlaxoSmithKline's Lucozade and Ribena
news
News
A tongue-eating louse (not the one Mr Poli found)
newsParasitic louse appeared inside unfilleted sea bass
Life and Style
The reindeer pen at the attraction
lifeLaurence Llewelyn-Bowen's 'Magical Journey' and other winter blunderlands
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Tana Ramsay gave evidence in a legal action in which her husband, Gordon, is accusing her father, Christopher Hutcheson, of using a ghost writer machine to “forge” his signature
peopleTana Ramsay said alleged discovery was 'extremely distressing'
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Windsor and Aljaz Skorjanec rehearse their same-sex dance together on Strictly Come Dancing
TV
Money
Anyone over the age of 40 seeking a loan with a standard term of 25 years will be borrowing beyond a normal retirement age of 65, and is liable to find their options restricted
propertyAnd it's even worse if you're 40
Arts and Entertainment
Perhaps longest awaited is the adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road with Brazil’s Walter Salles directing and Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart and Viggo Mortensen as the Beat-era outsiders
books
Arts and Entertainment
theatreSinger to join cast of his Broadway show after The Last Ship flounders at the box office
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'